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The Month of Av
Jerusalem of Gold - By <a href=''/k18017''>Boruch Hoffinger</a>
Jerusalem of Gold - By Boruch Hoffinger

he name of the eleventh month on the Jewish calendar, Av, literally means “father.” It is customary to add the name Menachem, which means “comforter” or “consoler”—so Menachem Av. Av is the month in which both Temples were destroyed and many other tragedies occurred in Jewish history. At this time, it is easy for us to feel deserted, lost and alone, yet we are taught that our Father in heaven is there to comfort and console us.

Av on one hand has a “low point” of the Jewish calendar—the 9th of Av, the day of the sin of the spies and the destruction of both the first and second Temples in Jerusalem. On the other hand, it also incorporates a “high point”: the 15th of Av, a day designated for finding one’s predestined soulmate, is considered one of the happiest days on the Jewish calendar.

May we speedily merit the ultimate redemption, when days of sorrow will be turned to days of joy, and we will celebrate once again in our holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Av Features
From the Fires of Destruction to the Fires of Redemption
The Kabbalah of the Three Weeks: a buried seed of goodness, a 21-day almond wood, walls that protect and walls that imprison, the pregnant Tet, and a cosmic birth that puts history to rights
A Day of Mourning, A Day of Hope
Although the Jewish year is filled with wonderful holidays in abundance several times a year—six, to be precise—we fast. Some people find fasting quite arduous, so there are some pointers that can...
Why do the Jewish people continue to mourn and weep year after year?
Fish, dairy, vegetarian and vegan recipes for the Nine Days, when we abstain from eating meat and chicken
The souls of Israel include “beautiful” souls, souls “of prestigious lineage,” and “ugly” souls, each of whom contribute their own unique dimension
Tu B’Av, a day of rejoicing, a day of love, a day on which evil decrees were lifted and miraculous events occurred, is preceded six days earlier by Tisha B’Av, the saddest day of the year, on which...
Av Calendar
Special Days in Av
1 Av Rosh Chodesh Av
Today is Rosh Chodesh. "The Nine Days" begins. A heightened degree of mourning is observed over the destruction of the Temple
15 Av 15 Av
The daughters of Jerusalem would go out in borrowed linen garments (so as not to embarrass those without beautiful clothes of their own)... and dance...
Jewish History In Av
1 Av
1273 BCE Passing of Aaron
Aaron the first High Priest, brother of Moses and Miriam, passed away at age 123 on the 1st of Av of... Read More »
348 BCE Ezra and Followers Arrive in Israel
Following their long journey from Babylon (see Jewish history for the 12th of Nissan), Ezra and his... Read More »
5 Av
1572 Passing of "Ari"
Rabbi Isaac Luria Ashkenazi, known as Ari HaKadosh ("The Holy Lion") passed away on the 5th of Av of... Read More »
7 Av
423 BCE First Temple Invaded
After nearly a month of fierce fighting inside Jerusalem (see "Today in Jewish History" for Tammuz... Read More »
8 Av
1312 BCE Spies Return
The Spies dispatched 40 days earlier by Moses to tour the Promised Land return to Israel's encampment... Read More »
67 CE Civil War in Jerusalem
Fighting breaks out inside the besieged city of Jerusalem between Jewish factions divided on the... Read More »
9 Av
1312 BCE Exodus Generation Condemned to Die in Desert
On the Ninth of Av of the year 2449 from creation (1312 BCE), the generation of Jews who came out of... Read More »
423 BCE and 69 CE Holy Temples Destroyed; Birth of Moshiach
Both the first and second Holy Temples which stood in Jerusalem were destroyed on Av 9: the First... Read More »
133 CE Fall of Betar
Betar, the last stronghold in the heroic Bar Kochba rebellion, fell to the Romans on the 9th of Av of... Read More »
1290 Expulsion from England
The Jews of England were expelled by King Edward I on this date in... Read More »
1492 The Spanish Expulsion
The Jews of Spain were expelled by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella on the 9th of Av of 1492... Read More »
10 Av
69 Holy Temple Burns
The Romans set the Temple aflame on the afternoon of Av 9 (see yesterday's Today in Jewish History... Read More »
1994 AMIA Bombing
Arab terrorists exploded a bomb in the the Jewish community center (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, Argentina... Read More »
2005 Expulsion from Gaza
More than 8,500 Jewish residents were forcefully expelled from their homes in 25 towns and... Read More »
12 Av
1263 Nachmanides' Disputation
By order of King James I of Aragon (Spain), Nachmanides (Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, 1194-1270) was... Read More »
1940 770 Acquired
On this date in 1940, the building at 770 Eastern Parkway in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn... Read More »
13 Av
1885 Passing of Sir Moses Montefiore
Av 13 is the day of the passing, at age 101, of the famed philanthropist and Jewish advocate, Sir... Read More »
15 Av
1274 BCE End of Dying in Desert
In wake of the incident of the "Spies," in which the generation that came out of Egypt under Moses'... Read More »
13th century BCE Ban on Inter-Tribal Marriage Lifted
In order to ensure the orderly division of the Holy Land between the twelve tribes of Israel... Read More »
circa 1228 BCE Tribe of Benjamin Re-Admitted
Av 15 was the day on which the tribe of Benjamin, which had been excommunicated for its behavior in... Read More »
574 BCE Jeroboam's Roadblocks Removed
Upon the division of the Holy Land into two kingdoms following the death of King Solomon in the year... Read More »
148 CE Betar Dead Buried
The fortress of Betar was the last holdout of the Bar Kochba rebellion. When Betar fell on the 9th of... Read More »
Matchmaking Day
In ancient Israel, it was the custom that on the 15th of Av "the daughters of Jerusalem would go out... Read More »
"The Day of the Breaking of the Ax"
When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, the annual cutting of firewood for the altar was concluded... Read More »
17 Av
1929 Hebron Massacre
67 Jewish men, women and children were slaughtered, and scores wounded, raped and maimed, by their... Read More »
20 Av
1558 Zohar Published
First printing of the Zohar, the fundamental work of the Kabbalah (Jewish esoteric and mystical... Read More »
1944 Passing of R. Levi Yitzchak Schneerson
Av 20 is the yahtzeit (anniversary of the passing) of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's father, Rabbi Levi... Read More »
21 Av
1918 Passing of R. Chaim Brisker
Passing of Rabbi Chaim Soloveichik of Brisk (1853-1918), outstanding Talmudic scholar and Jewish... Read More »
24 Av
circa 100 BCE Hasmonean Holiday
The Hasmoneans reinstated the rule of Jewish civil law, replacing Hellenist secular law, and declared... Read More »
26 Av
1843 Tzemach Tzedek Departs Petersburg
In 1843, the Interior Ministry of the Czarist government convened a rabbinical conference in the... Read More »
29 Av
1812 Flight from Liadi
On this date, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, who supported and aided the Czar's army during the... Read More »
30 Av
1313 BCE Second Tablets hewn
On the last day of Av of the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), Moses carved, by G-d's command, two... Read More »
Laws & Customs For Av
1 Av
Today is Rosh Chodesh--"Head of the Month"--for the Hebrew month of "Av" (also called "Menachem Av")... Read More »
"When Av begins, we diminish [our] rejoicing" (Talmud, Taanit 26b). On the 1st of Av, "The Three... Read More »
2 Av
During the “Nine Days" from Av 1st to the Ninth of Av, we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple... Read More »
3 Av
During the “Nine Days" from Av 1st to the Ninth of Av, we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple... Read More »
4 Av
During the “Nine Days" from Av 1st to the Ninth of Av, we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple... Read More »
5 Av
During the “Nine Days" from Av 1st to the Ninth of Av, we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple... Read More »
6 Av
The Shabbat before the Ninth of Av is called Shabbat Chazon ("Shabbat of Vision") after the opening... Read More »
During the summer months, from the Shabbat after Passover until the Shabbat before Rosh Hashahah, we... Read More »
During the “Nine Days" from Av 1st to the Ninth of Av, we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple... Read More »
7 Av
During the “Nine Days" from Av 1st to the Ninth of Av, we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple... Read More »
8 Av
The fast of Tishah B'Av begins this evening at sunset. Some of the fast's mourning practices--such as... Read More »
During the “Nine Days" from Av 1st to the Ninth of Av, we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple... Read More »
9 Av
Mourning the destruction of the Temple and the exile of Israel, (see "Today in Jewish History") we... Read More »
Once a month, as the moon waxes in the sky, we recite a special blessing called Kiddush Levanah... Read More »
10 Av
In commemoration of the burning of the Temple which lasted into the 10th day of Av, we continue the... Read More »
13 Av
The Shabbat after the Ninth of Av is called Shabbat Nachamu ("Shabbat of Consolation") after the... Read More »
During the summer months, from the Shabbat after Passover until the Shabbat before Rosh Hashahah, we... Read More »
15 Av
Because of the joyous events which occurred on this day (see "Today in Jewish History"), our sages... Read More »
Beginning on the 15th of Av one should increase one's study of Torah, since at this time of the year... Read More »
20 Av
During the summer months, from the Shabbat after Passover until the Shabbat before Rosh Hashahah, we... Read More »
27 Av
This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevarchim ("the Shabbat that blesses" the new month): a special prayer is... Read More »
During the summer months, from the Shabbat after Passover until the Shabbat before Rosh Hashahah, we... Read More »
30 Av
Today is the first of the two days of Rosh Chodesh (“Head of the Month”) for the month of Elul (when... Read More »
Some of the special Elul practices (see entries and links for tomorrow, Elul 1) begin today. The... Read More »
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Rosh Chodesh
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What Is Rosh Chodesh?
The Jewish calendar follows the lunar year. The renewal of the moon, marks the beginning of the month. Rosh Chodesh, which means ‘head of the month’ celebrates the start of a new month on the Jewish calendar.

Throughout history our light has waxed and waned. But even in utter darkness, it has never been extinguished.

More About Rosh Chodesh
A Monthly Holiday for Women
The special connection between women and Rosh Chodesh harks way back to the episode of the Golden Calf, when the women refused to surrender their jewelry for use in making the idol. As a reward, they were given Rosh Chodesh as a special Holiday for women.

Rosh Chodesh celebrates the monthly renewal of the moon, after it wanes to the point of disappearance. Thus Rosh Chodesh celebrates the concept of perpetuity despite life’s peaks and plunges. It is the woman who through her steadfast faith that ensures our nation’s survival; it is she who ensures that no matter how much we wane, we will always be renewed.

More on the Women Connection
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